Friday, January 11, 2019

SPRING GARDEN BLOOMS AGAIN AT SURIA KLCC


Fresh waves of changes have swept ashore at Spring Garden restaurant inside the iconic Suria KLCC shopping centre. Even Aquaman and his fiefdom would feel right at home amidst such ship-shape, expansive turquoise surrounds. 
Tasteful interior accents trimmed in matte gold and shades of marsala and tangerine complemented by pendant lights encased in retro fish traps and floor-to-ceiling display seafood tanks complete the modern ambience. For the comfort of its corporate clientele, well-appointed private dining rooms are discreetly cloistered behind sleekly designed partitions, to ensure minimal disturbance from the main dining area. 
The quartet of fish sculptures and wave motif panelling upfront serve as obvious hints fresh, premium seafood such as geoduck, king crabs, live lobsters and giant groupers now takes pride of place in the menu. 
 
One of the scrumptious signature specialities recommended to us is airy-light battered Soft Shell Crabs sandwiched in cottony soft Mantao Buns (RM58++ for 5 pieces). 
Deep-fried to an enticingly golden brown hue, the delicious chunks of savoury crabs reach new gastronomic heights once the savoury and aromatic salted egg and curry leaf sauce is drizzled onto the buns. An utterly fabulous way to tickle the tastebuds when you bite into that melange of soft, crisp and crunchy textures complemented by blooming flavours! 

Served half on its shell, the impressive pièce de résistance of Steamed Freshwater Prawn with Minced Garlic & Glass Noodles (RM26++/100g) tastes distinctly clear and sweet on the palate. Imported from Indonesia, the divine crustacean flaunts tantalising hints of garlic against the silky tapestry of glass noodles like a naughty temptress with its slip showing.

More majestic and no less fearsome, the Steamed Giant Grouper Nyonya Style (RM25++/100g) makes its presence felt in more ways than one, like the proverbial grand dame. Besides the fish’s fearsome looks, the Nyonya sauce also stirs our senses thanks to its robust notes of lemongrass, torch ginger and chillies. We find the fish’s fine, smooth flesh readily embraces the piquant sauce like ummm...fish to water.  

Before non-seafood fans despair they are being left out at Spring Garden, fret not. You can sample tempting dishes such as Braised Diced Chicken In Hot Pot (RM35++/portion) from the a la carte menu. Served in a stone pot, the generous chicken dices are tossed in granny’s recipe of black beans and chilli sauce. Once you have a whiff of the resultant fragrance from the sizzling pot, you'd be drooling and asking for more of that tender chicken pieces.




A stock made from chicken and fish bones in addition to dried scallop imbues loads of flavour to the Poached Fried Rice in Superior Broth (RM30++/portion). Tai Thong's Group Executive Chef Simon Lee Lit Chang (pix below) also adds a bowl off crispy puffed rice for textural interest aside from the milieu of diced scallop, carrot, Chinese cabbage, egg, mushroom and prawn already inside the pot.

When he finally dishes it up, the bowl of poached rice has a subtle smoky aroma to it. The rice is similar to Japanese zosui with a richer yet comforting overtone, punctuated by bits and pieces of the ingredients doled out. 

 

Dim Sum is also a daily mainstay at Spring Garden during lunch. My personal fave is the unusual Crispy Shredded Duck Cheong Fun (RM13.80++), steamed flat rice flour rolls filled with shredded roast duck you’d rarely find at other Chinese restaurants. The little side dish of chilli dip is excellent too.
 


Durian enthuasiasts take note. Make sure you savour the distinctive dessert of Steamed Charcoal Buns with Durian and Salted Egg Yolk (RM15.80++). Possibly the only black as night sweet buns with molten, sweet-savoury and some would say weird combo of durian and salted egg yold filling, they should go down a treat if you’re into unique taste combination.

Notable options on the dim sum parade include Beancurd Roll with Prawns (RM12.80++), Taro Dumplings or Woo Kok (RM9.80++), Xiu Mai (RM10.80++), Tai Thong Superior Har Gao (RM12.80++) and Steamed Lao Sa Bao Buns with Salted Egg Yolk (RM9.80++) among others.
For reservations, please call SPRING GARDEN (pork-free), tel: 03-2166 9881. Address: Lot 413 & 414, Level 4, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.




 


Monday, January 07, 2019

GREAT CNY FEASTS AT FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON PUCHONG


From 7 January to 28 February 2019, Chinese Sous Chef Alex Chin and the team at Four Points by Sheraton Puchong will work tirelessly to cook up great feasts to usher in the Chinese New Year for young and old alike.
Served at The Eatery and the Four Points function rooms and also available for takeaways, Eight Treasure Yee Sang featuring smoked salmon, jellyfish, scallop flesh, baby octopus, marinated clams, snow pear, fuji apple and persimmon, crispy fish skin, shredded vegetables, crispy crackers, pickles and fruity house dressing. 
During the preview, we had samplings of specialities culled from the three festive set menus composed to appeal to families for the celebration: Spring & Happiness Set (RM1,588+), Everlasting Prosperity Set (RM1,788+) and Wealth & Fortune Set (RM2,088+).
A good example is the soulful brew of Herbal Chicken Broth with Sun-dried Scallop in Whole Coconut. Amidst the pool of warm, sweet nectar I found a thick hunk of sea cucumber, slivers of conpoy, red goji berries and a meaty black chicken wing.
Admittedly, Baked Asparagus & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Rolls in Tangy Torch Ginger infused Plum Sauce sounded ho-hum but the various components melded together agreeably. Hence it was a definitive crowd-pleaser.
Bright, citrusy accent mixed with a dash of piquant chilli heat ensured the Tiger Prawns with Vietnamese inspired Tangerine-Lemongrass Sauce disappeared in double quick time, leaving behind much happiness. Most appropriate since har har siew is a Chinese homonym prawns as often associated with during Chinese New Year.
Symbolic food is treasured during the festive celebration especially fish or yue in Chinese which denotes abundance and excess. While most restaurants traditionally prefer to serve whole fishes, modern chefs are opting for convenience and newer dining trends resulting in creations such as Pearl Grouper Fillets with Spicy Chilli Paste, Celery & Lily Bulbs in Basket. It was a nice change to savour succulent fish fillet without the messy business of dealing with bones.
The proverbial dish to guarantee prosperity is included as well. Young and old should enjoy partaking the delectable bundle of Sun-dried Oysters, Mexican Clams, Pacific Clams, Bamboo Piths & Shiitake Mushroom Wrapped in Beancurd Skin drizzled with Black Moss Sauce as the savoury platter ticked all the right boxes from the get-go in terms of flavour, texture and colour.
Hearty eaters who have leftover tummy space unfulfilled may allow Smoked Chicken & Dried Shrimp Fried Rice in Pumpkin to plug the gap. This familiar comfort food has been dialled up by the chefs to royal banquet level; a surprisingly nice combination of sweet-savouriness to please the palate.
Dessert options to chill over include a dual platter of Crispy Deep-fried Coconut Coated Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake (Nian Gao)-Mango Balls and Chilled Aloe Vera, Crystal Pear, Dried Longan & Red Dates in Rock Sugar Syrup. Nothing fanciful but evergreen favourites most celebrants will take to as a sweet conclusion to their family festive feasting. 

Chinese New Year Highlights

4 February
Reunion Dinner at The Eatery
RM148 nett per person

7 Jan-28 Feb
Fortune Buffet Dinner
RM128 nett per person

5 February
Hi-Tea Buffet
RM118 nett per person

For more information and reservations, please call Four Points by Sheraton Puchong, tel 03-5891 8855 or email: eatery.puchong@fourpoints.com

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